VA guidelines VA loans VA requirements

VA Loan Facts About Short Sales

February 2, 2015

VA Loan Facts About Short Sales

va loanWhen a borrower gets into financial trouble and has difficulty making VA loan payments, sometimes the only alternative to foreclosure is something called a short sale–where the borrower sells the home for less than it is worth or less than is what is actually owed on the property.

A borrower has the right to sell the home at any point during the foreclosure process, which makes the short sale more attractive to some–the borrower who feels it’s better to sell short than go into foreclosure may choose this option as long as he or she legally owns the home.

In these situations, there are several options. One is called a VA compromise claim. According to the VA, “If your property cannot be sold for an amount which is greater than or equal to what you owe on the loan, VA may pay a ‘compromise claim’ for the difference to help you complete the sale. You must contact VA to discuss the situation and get prior approval for a sale with a compromise claim payment. Some mortgage companies are authorized by VA to approve a sale with a compromise claim.”

A short sale is definitely a way to avoid foreclosure, but that doesn’t mean a short sale won’t affect your credit score. Unfortunately short sales do lower credit scores in many cases, and there may be a “seasoning period” borrowers must wait out before they are allowed to apply for another home loan. In this respect, short sales (where VA loan delinquency is involved) resemble bankruptcy filings; though the effects on a credit rating may not be the same, a waiting period applies.

Those who have had VA loans in the past, experienced financial trouble and resorted to a short sale are not locked out of the housing market. If you have waited out the minimum period following a short sale with delinquent payments, and have a record of dependable payments since that time and other typical VA loan qualifying factors, you may be eligible to begin the VA loan process again.

  1. Chris Hocking

    Will the VA go after the homeowner/veteran for the deficiency following a short sale in Arizona? Are any other VA entitlements affected by the short sale?

  • Joe Wallace

    Hi Chris, thanks for your question. In general, a VA borrower can't get eligibility restored if they have an outstanding debt to the government on a VA home loan. If you haven't paid off the loan in full after the sale you won't be able to apply for new VA loan eligibility until you've either paid off the loan or have been formally released from obligation on the loan as recognized by the VA. Best advice--contact the VA directly to learn your options in your particular circumstances and definitely don't assume you're released from liability as a result of the short sale.

  • Cynthia Harvey

    How long will it take for the VA to pay the remaining balance owed to the mortgage company after the sale is complete. I closed on my property 16 months ago, and the VA has still not paid the remainder to my mortgage company. My mortgage company told me they have been in touch with the VA and the VA will pay the remaining amount once they reconcile their accounts. I currently have the remaining balance from the short sale owed from my mortgage showing up on credit report as delinquent. Please help.

    • Joe Wallace

      Unfortunately, the VA has the final say on this issue--some of the problem may be with the current workload at the Department of Veterans Affairs at the time your case was being processed. What did the VA tell you about the processing time when you contacted them?

  • Heather Lane

    Ok here's the deal. I took out a VA loan for a home when I moved to CO Springs. My husband hasnt been able to find a full time good paying job so we are hurting on paying our bills. We havnt missed any payments on our mortgage though. We got a agent and his idea was to put it on short sale...BUT we want to buy a cheaper house after we sell this one. I keep reading that i cant do another VA loan for another 2 years after a short sale...but my agent is telling me that isnt right and that I can get one as soon as the sale is complete. What do i dO?

  • Ann

    What about if you had a conventional loan you short saled on and want to get a VA loan in the future? Does the 2 year waiting period still apply? This would be with no late payments and good credit. Not sure why they didnt go VA to begin with, but is retired military.

  • Curtis Harrel

    I am hoping to purchase my home through a VA loan. I am prequalified as a first time home owner. My question is, can I purchase a short sale home using a VA loan. I have heard that some banks will not accept the VA loan. Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    My husband recieved orders to PCS in August and we have had our house on the market for the amount we owe plus realtor fees, but to no avail. We need to lower the price and get it sold by April so that the family can move with him. We have tried to contact to VA to get information on a short sale. After three people saying there is nothing that the VA can do for us and five people saying there is We are left more confused than ever. We asked what specifically ... What is the process that we need to go through for the VA to pay the short sale difference. We were told that we need to contact our lender for a short sale packet and start on the short sale and the VA comes in at the end and pays the difference... Only our lender says that we need to go through the VA and they have to do the short sale. So where do we go? Who do we contact EXACTLY? We have a realtor that is very helpful for a regular short sale, but can't help is with the VA portion. We would like to reduce the price ASAP so that we can get people in and looking. I have also been told that short sale approval is up to the bank and not the VA and can take MONTHS! Not many people are going to be interested in waiting that long to see if thier offer is approved... Need some real advice and guidance.

  • Dre

    Hi, I had a home in my name only (I am married) and I short sold the house. Now my husband and I (its been 6 months) would like to purchase a home using his VA is this possible? Thanks.

  • mary

    Has anyone here done a short sale on a VA loan? I am in the beginning stages of buying a home which has a VA loan, and I'm wondering what the process is and how long will it take. The loan is though BOA.

  • Jason

    I am being moved as a condition of employment by the U.S. Government and have been offered a full move assistance package, including the government purchase of my home. Unfortunately the government will only pay the current market value of my home, which is approximately $90,000 short of what I owe. I have a VA loan on the home but was considering a short sale. In this case I already have a buyer (the U.S. Government) and the loan is VA backed. I would like to do a short sale, what are the considerations in my situation?

  • Amy

    We have a VA loan, and submitted a short sale package through our lender, and we have an offer on our home. We are currently waiting for a negotiator to be assigned from our lender. My question is, once the apprasial is done on the home and we find out if we are short or not, how long does it typically take for the VA to pay the difference? I have spoken to the VA and have been given different information. My other question... Can we close on the home, and move, and let the buyer move in, if the difference hasn't been paid yet by the VA?

  • Amy

    We have a VA loan, and submitted a short sale package through our lender, and we have an offer on our home. We are currently waiting for a negotiator to be assigned from our lender. My question is, once the apprasial is done on the home and we find out if we are short or not, how long does it typically take for the VA to pay the difference? I have spoken to the VA and have been given different information. My other question... Can we close on the home, and move, and let the buyer move in, if the difference hasn't been paid yet by the VA?

  • Leo Ford

    I would NOT attempt any VA loan on a short sale, there are too many possible issues with a house 15 years or older, VA will not allow you the loan because of issues with the roof or other issues . Go with a VA loan ONLY IF THE THE HOUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO BUY IS 15 YEARS OLD or LESS, let me repeat, Go with a VA loan ONLY IF THE THE HOUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO BUY IS 15 YEARS OLD or LESS.

  • HD Wilcox

    Joe, thank you for the great information. Do you have a place where I might go to check my indebtedness status with the VA? We short sold a house about two years ago and since we've had a chance to clean things up, we're interested in looking again. I had not thought about owing money to the VA for this issue though. Do you know where I might find that information out at? Thanks again.

  • Liz Taylor

    Our house and property lost about 70000 in value after the housing market collapsed, and in addition, we have found many things wrong with our house that we can no longer afford to repair. We have a VA loan and are not behind on our payments. We need to move due ot our recently expanded family. Can we do a short sale?

  • Jeannine s

    My husband and I purchased a home in May 2003 using his VA loan. We had two incomes, and very inexpensive childcare. In 2009, he moved out and in with his girlfriend. Our three year divorce process just ended in December 2011. I was served with foreclosure papers less than a month after he moved out (ie: he was living here when the house went into foreclosure). Initially, he worked with me to apply for a loan modification but I was given a refinance instead - erroneously based on our "combined" income, raising my mortgage by over $500/month. He felt child aupport was optional. A year and a half later, having faithfully made every payment myself, my second job ended, and child support was late, so I borrowed money from my parents to cover the mortgage. I naively made the payment a day late, which broke the terms of the refinance plan. At that point, he refused to work with me on any loan modification, refinance, etc. because he wants to use his VA loan to refinance his girlfriend's house. Both she and we are required to sell our homes as the result of our respective divorces, and - in our case - court ordered to share equally in any equity or deficiency as a result of the loss of the home. My obvious choice is to go with a deed in lieu, assuming the bank will permit that, however my cousin told me when she and her husband used his VA loan, she absolutely not allowed to be on the loan (but is on the deed). I just rented a home for me and our children but we will barely be able to eat once rent, daycare and utilities are paid. Having a judgment against us will honestly render us homeless. His girlfriend, on the other hand, has a SUBSTANTIAL amount of liquid assets and I could see her repaying bis portion of the loan to be able to refinance her house (she has been unemployed for over three years, he is chronically unemployed). Due to an extremely volatile divorce (among other things, he went after custody of our four children, actually getting custody of our teenage son), we do not communicate and thus have not discussed this. He feels the entire liability should be with me and immediately wants his VA loan benefit back, blaming the entire thing on me (recall the papers were served less than a month after he'd moved out...) Questions: 1) is a spouse (aka me) actually on the loan itself or just the deed/title? 2) if I am given the option for a deed in lieu, what liability would we assume - ie: will we owe a debt to the lender or to the VA? To both? 3) will a deed in lieu be reportable on my taxes? On his? 4) I read that he won't be able to reuse his VA loan again for two years as a result of a foreclosure. If there is a judgment against us regarding the balance owed, what are the terms of repayment? 5) What are the consequences if he wants one route and I want another (ie: he decides to salvage the loan and I want deed in lieu? Can I remove my name from the loan? (The divorce stipulates we have to have it on the market by June.). (note: I would not fight for the house at this point.) I don't even know where to turn at this point. Having racked up a huge debt to my attoeney as a result of all of my ex's bogus filings, continuances, no show's, etc., I cannot afford an attorney here. I didn't realize all of the legal nuances and implications. Please help!

  • Dave Lawrence

    I recently closed on a short sale in February. Do I have to claim the difference of what was owed and how much the house was sold for on my next year's taxes as income?

  • Tootsie

    Me and my husband had a house that was a conventional loan and the mortgage was in his name only. We just did a short sale. We both are ex-military and have VA loan access. Can we purchase a new home right now, providing our credit and income are sufficient? Is there a requirement my VA for a two year wait period on short saled conventional loans? Thanks

  • Piper

    Question about "robosigning" (Non VA-loan ((GMAC)). We had a house go through the foreclosure process and all the way to sheriff sale when the judgment of foreclosure was "vacated" due to the robosigning fiasco. This caused the foreclosure process to start from scratch which delayed the process over a year. Had the process gone through the first time, we would have now met the 2 year waiting period. I contacted the VA center in my area and explained the situation to them. They said it would be up to the lender to decide if the "robosigning delay" would be taken into consideration for the 2 year wait...... We are ready and able to buy again. Any advice? Thanks.

  • Tonka

    My husband and I just short sold on a house that was under his VA loan, and I cosigned on that loan. Since I am also a veteran and I still have a VA loan to use, will the short sale (that was under my husband's VA loan) affect my eligibility to use my VA loan, since I was a co-signer for his? (i.e. will I have to wait out the two year period?)

  • thomas

    Hi, I bought my home with a VA loan in april 2008. did a VA streamline in feb 2011 and lender ( USAA PHH) agreed to short sale that was finalized in june 2012. The lender stated: the investor agrees to the short sale and the servicer will execute a full "satisfaction and release of mortgage" upon receipt of funds as provided above and, if applicable foreclosure activity will cease. "this letter may be used as a payment demand" This transaction may have implications with your federal tax liability. You should consult the irs or your tax accountant for additional information. Another portion states a promissary note in the amount of $0, at the rate of 0%, and ther term of 0 months be executed on or before closing ( i never receieved the note) Any suggestions? thank you

  • Laurie

    We are looking to short sell my husband's house. We were recently married, but I am not on the VA loan with him. I have a few questions: I know this will affect his credit score but will it affect mine? We do have other accounts that we're joint on (ie. credit cards, car loans) He has a pension and receives disabilty monthly. Will this affect that? Can they take it away from him? Any help or guidance who to call is appreciated. Thank You.

  • Rachel

    We're in the process of short selling our house. We have an offer and the bank has sent everything to underwriting and we're just waiting on that and the VA appraisal so the bank can approve or deny the offer. We were told by our lender via our realtor that our account has to be 60+ days delinquent prior to closing per VA regulations. This is verbatim what was said (via email sent to our realtor through Equator: "I cannot technically advise you to have the home owners stop making payments. I can only say that the account must be 60+ days past due in order to close a short sale by VA regulations. If you would please relay that to the home owners. Thanks," We are current on our mortgage and have never missed a payment. We're pcsing, not moving by choice. We have friends who are closing on the shortsale of their home (also a VA loan in the same town) and they aren't delinquent on their mortgage either. Nor have they been told they need to be in order to close. So what's the deal with the discrepancy? It makes no sense to me. Please help.

  • Patrick

    I am currently Active Duty on a remote tour in Korea and have received my next assignment. I purchased a home at my previous duty station, and my family is still there. Since, I am not going back to the same duty station and I owe more than the home is worth it appears that we are going to have to do a short sale. We would like to purchase again at our next duty station, being that I am at the point in my career where this should be my last assignment before retiring and I plan on settling at our new location after the Military. We have begun the preliminary stages of starting the short sale, but I would like to have an idea about the penalties we may face if we do go through with the short sale and how it would effect our chances at buying again? We both have excellent credit and have never been delinquent on anything. Any information you could provide would be great.

  • Rebecca

    My husband and I are both veterans, we purchased our VA home back in Feb of 2009. We are now both out and are DoD employess.My husband has been offered a possible new job in a different state. We owe 223K but our home value is only worth around 217K. We dont want to do a "compromise sale" due to the fact we would like to use our VA loan again once we move. If we cant sale for the price we owe, could we sale at the 217K mark and pay the reminder owed and still use our VA loan again? Or would we have to wait the 2 year waiting period?

  • Bill

    im a buyer working with a seller who has a VA backed loan through wells fargo. our appraisal came back $15K under the agreed purchase price. and addendum for the appraised price was sent to the VA via wells fargo. why would this happen? did the VA do the initial appraisal? thank you in advance for any info you can provide.

  • Linda F McRae

    My husband and I purchased our home through a VA loan in 2004. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to file bankruptcy in 2007. I lost my job in November 2009. I have not been unable to find employment since then. We had been struggling to pay our mortgage and thus decided to do a loan modification. Still unable to make the payment we decided to sale. Our realtor priced the house at fair market value in accordance with comparibles for the area back in April 2012, but we have only had one offer, which was far less than the asking price. We wanted to do a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, but was advised that we did not qualify because house was not listed at fair market value according to lender. Our lender suggested a short sale,but when I advised of the price the realtor was trying to get, they advised me that it was more than the appraised amount assessed by the VA back in 2010 when we did the modification and that we would have to sale at fair market value. When I advised the realtor of the information I received from lender, I was told there is a difference in appraised value and fair market value. We are totally confused. At this point we just want to get from under the loan by whatever means necessary. What should we do as far as a course of action?

  • Beverly

    I have my name on a house in South Carolina that I have never lived in or paid for (I did a favor for my ex-mother in law. Anyway, I did not use my VA loan for that house, it was some conventional loan, I think. She is considering doing a short sale for that house (she claims it is in an effort to get my name off of the house. Would it be better to try to buy a house with my VA loan before she sells it, or should I wait until it is sold? I have heard that if I can show proof of her payments (via cancelled check) that this house will not be involved in the loan amount I could get approved for. If I wait until she sells the house and she does a short sale will I have to wait 2 or 3 years to apply for my VA loan, even if I can prove I never had to pay for it?

  • BILL


  • don reid

    looking for info. we got into a shortsale situation, after we made a dicision to sell the home we were in and by a another home to be closer to her elderly aunt. the realtor mistakenly put house in a grid with no homes. so no-one came to look, bye the time we figured out what happened the housing and banking mess were upon us. We had a rentor who said he would buy, didnt even make rent payments . eventully we got him out. The dead house market was upon us so we did the shortsale. We are a year past that, im 71 and want to do a va refi.( To get a lower house payment) but the shortsale has become an obstacle of va refi. Any advise ?

  • Brady OBrien

    How long after I've paid off my VA home loan,(by selling my home I accomplished this )can I reuse the VA loan? Is there a waiting period? Thanks.

  • Samantha

    We have a VA loan through Chase. We are military and PCSd to a different state and have rented out the house. We decided to apply for a short sale because we were concerned we wouldn't be able to keep up with the house. We applied in August and they said it would take 30 days and now 3 offers and 5 months later....I am concerned. They have lost our paperwork multiple times and are very difficult sometimes impossible to contact. The VA has approved a short sale with a net of 85% of the appraisal price (which is 173k). We have an offer OVER the net, yet the negotiator has countered for 173k. We owe less than the appraisal price, about 171k. How can this be considered a short sale when they want to sell it for more than the appraised price? Can they keep this offer in limbo by countering more than the net when the offer is what is needed? We are about to lose another buyer because Chase keeps playing this game. Do you have any advice? Is there anyone I can contact at the VA?

  • Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *